Good Samaritan Risks It All To Save A Famous Dog’s Life By Trying A Very Unlikely Move

Dog owners, there’s a reason you sleep in the smallest corner of your bed while the pooch sprawls out on the heart of the king-sized mattress: you’d do just about anything for your dog, even if it means sacrificing a bit of comfort. But what would you do for someone else’s dog?

A Florida man confronted this very dilemma one afternoon when he was out studying for a life-defining test. That’s when he noticed a world-famous dog in a bit of trouble and had to ask himself if he’d rather save the day or jeopardize his own future…

It was November 8, 2018, and Miguel Camacho was hanging out at a park in West Tampa, where he was studying for a test to receive his journeyman electrician’s license. He was getting ready to start a new career to provide for his family.

Just minutes away from the grade-defining test, he broke from studying for a little mind-clearing R&R. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and began scrolling through his social media feeds until a particular post caught his eye.

It was a video of a kitesurfing dog, and everyone was losing their minds about it. The black and white Jack Russell Terrier balanced the board and managed the kite rod like a real pro.

Dimitri Maramenides

This talented dog was owned by Dimitri Maramenides, his wife Helen Trotman, their daughter Olivia, and their 16-year-old son Cameron. The family was made up entirely of surfers who spent every weekend on the beach and on their boards.

Dimitri Maramenides/Facebook

Cameron had been surfing since he was only 6 years old. Everyone who knew him could see that he was a natural and would someday make it big in the world of professional kitesurfing.

Outer Banks Magazine

In fact, young Cameron was recruited by Team USA and was set to compete in the 2020 summer Olympics. Him and his family — Zues included — were all at a kiteboarding competition at the north Skyway Bridge beach a few days before when something terrible happened.

Ale Schwartz/IKA

After the Maramenideses looked away for a split second, they turned back around to notice their dog Zeus had been stolen! The family was desperate to get their dog back and spread the word of Zeus’ abduction. 

Now, remember Miguel? He’d been sucked down the rabbit hole of Zeus YouTube videos and noticed that the latest featured Cameron pleading that people keep an eye out for Zeus. He’d been taken by a middle-aged white man in a gray Sedan.

WTSP

At first, Miguel felt sympathetic to the family and the pup but didn’t give the story much more thought. However, right when he was about to put his phone back in his pocket, he noticed a gray sedan pulling up — and a middle-aged white man got out of the car.

It looked suspicious at first, but there are plenty of white men driving gray sedans. Still, something kept Miguel alert, and soon the strange man opened the car door and a black-and-white Jack Russell Terrier jumped out to do its business. 

WTSP News10

Miguel quickly dialed the phone number left in the video’s comments and to his relief, Cameron picked up. When Miguel quietly described the dog in the park to Cameron, he replied: “Hey man, that’s my dog!” Miguel then quickly called the police but they told him they could take no action without the owner present.

Once Zeus had finished, the man pulled him back into the car and began to drive off. Miguel didn’t have time for this. He had to make it back to school for his test. You know, the one that would determine his grade in a crucial class!

Miguel, though, didn’t want to let him out of his sight. He jumped into his own car and began following the sedan, aware the man ahead of him could very well be dangerous.

After several miles, the man pulled over and got out of his car. “Why are you following me?” he barked at Miguel while approaching him aggressively. “I don’t think that’s your dog,” Miguel calmly responded. “Of course it is!” the man yelled.

So Miguel called out “Zeus!” Excited to hear his name, the dog jumped out of the car and ran towards Miguel, who quickly scooped him up and beat a hasty retreat from his abductor!

After saving the dog, Miguel returned him to his family. “We are still pinching ourselves to see if we are dreaming,” said Helen Trotman, wife of Dimitri Maramenides. “We are so fortunate Miguel was there and was willing to put himself into a possibly dangerous situation to get our dog back.”

Demitri Maramenides/Facebook

Unfortunately, the chase took Miguel longer than he’d have liked. In following the sedan and rescuing Zeus, he missed his engineering test. This, he knew, meant he’d failed the class. His dreams were dead.

But the Maramenideses dulled the sting a little when they asked whether Miguel wanted to receive the $3,500 reward via cash or check; he had no idea what they were talking about. He hadn’t done it for money, he just wanted to save Zeus. Still, the Maramenideses insisted.

Helen Trotman/Facebook

While Miguel was worried that he wouldn’t get his engineering license, the extra cash came at a perfect time before the holidays. “I have two kids,” Miguel said. “I’m gonna do some Christmas shopping for them and put the rest in their savings accounts.”

But best of all? His professor had a little surprise for him too: after hearing what Miguel had done, the electrician teacher was impressed by Miguel’s courage and good heart, so he agreed to let him take the test he had missed!

Miguel risked his safety and his exam grade to save the dog of a stranger and reunite a family, a good deed some people would not have even considered. The Maramenides family will definitely keep a closer watch on Zeus from now on — but they’ll keep taking him out for some surf sessions!

Tampa Bay News courtesy of Helen Trotman

Even though Zeus’s kidnapping was extremely emotional for everyone involved, the fact Miguel was able to make such a selfless sacrifice to bring the family back together is what restores faith. And for one North Carolina family, faith was something they needed desperately.

As the holidays were approaching, the Miller family needed to figure out what they were going to do for Christmas. The decision, this year, would be tough: their home in North Carolina had been destroyed.

KUTV

When Hurricane Florence battered the East Coast in 2017, the Miller’s home succumbed to the swift waters and raging wind. Their house was left unlivable, but they were determined to rebuild.

Debbie Elliott / NPR

Riddled with hard times, Jacob and Jamie Miller wanted a break from their chaotic life. Lucky for them, family and friends were willing to take them in, while their beloved German Shepherd puppy, Frank, stayed in South Carolina with grandma.

Donna Javaras / Facebook

So, they boarded a plane and traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, to spend Christmas with their extended family. Still, their two boys, Perryn and Rayner, wished their furry friend could join the celebrations.

Donna Javaras / Facebook

Then, shortly after arriving in Utah and just days before Christmas, the oldest son, Perryn, complained of a persistent headache and intense pressure in his head. Concerned for their son, Jacob and Jamie rushed him to the hospital.

Go Fund Me

Upon arrival, doctors immediately examined Perryn to determine what was wrong. Facing test after test, all 8-year-old Perryn could think about was his puppy back home.

Donna Javaras / Facebook

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, doctors were able to pinpoint the cause of Perryn’s pain. Nothing could have prepared the Millers for what the doctors were about to tell them.

Perryn, doctors said, had a tumor growing on his brain. He was diagnosed with stage four glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive, deadly form of cancer, especially in children.

KUTV

Nothing breaks a parent’s heart faster than hearing the words “aggressive,” “deadly,” and “cancer” in relation to their child. But just like every other devastation the Millers had gone through, they weren’t going down without a fight.

KUTV

One last kiss from his parents, and Perryn was rushed into emergency surgery. In an effort to comfort him, Jacob and Jamie promised Frank could visit him once he was out of surgery.

Jennifer Reynolds / Facebook

After several hours, and with much relief, the surgery was completed; doctors successfully removed the tumor from Perryn’s brain. A victory in the young boy’s fight, sure, but there were still mountains to climb in his recovery.

Go Fund Me

A surgery of that magnitude involves significant recovery time, followed by a rigorous course of chemotherapy or radiation treatments to insure zero cancerous cells remain in the body. This meant that the Millers were staying in Utah indefinitely.

Even there, however, they were willing to do whatever it took to help their little boy, even if that meant taking an unpaid extended leave from work and staying put with just a weekend bag. Still, something was missing from their home away from home.

Their German Shepherd, Frank, was stuck in North Carolina. He was only 8 months old at the time, and grandma just couldn’t handle him on her own. And Perryn desperately wanted to be with him.

The Millers

With the help of grandma, they looked into the cost of transporting Frank from North Carolina to Utah, but the $3,600 fee — on top of medical bills and relocation costs — was overwhelming.

Grandma had one last idea though: their community was so generous when they helped the Millers get back on their feet after Hurricane Florence, would it be too much to ask for their help once more?

She posted a Facebook plea requesting if anyone had ideas on how to transport Frank approximately 2,300 miles back to Perryn and his family. Unexpectedly, the post spread across social media like wildfire.

Donna Javaras / Facebook

News of the family’s story reached Wisconsin, where it landed on the screen of Rob and Jennifer Reynolds. Touched by the story, Jennifer shared the heartbreaking post with her husband, a former truck driver.

Jennifer Reynolds / Facebook

With little hesitation, Rob knew he needed to volunteer his time and help reunite this deserving family with their beloved dog. He felt that Frank could “help [Perryn] recover.”

Robert Reynolds / Facebook

Rising before the sun, Rob packed up his Subaru Outback at 4:30 a.m. and embarked on the nearly 20-hour trip from his home in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, to North Carolina. This was just the beginning of the long trip ahead of him.

By the morning of January 3rd, Rob had reached North Carolina to pick up the energetic pup. The next leg of the trip was going to be long and tiring, but Rob hoped that Frank would help him get through it. 

Donna Javaras / Facebook

Since the story had already spread across the internet, Rob posted updates on Facebook in regards to their 2,300 mile cross-country trip. As it turns out, Frank was an amazing travel companion!

“Frank and I got along very well,” Rob said. He “would sleep or play with his toys. We’d stop and go for walks. If he wanted to use the bathroom, he’d bump my right arm. He was perfect.”

Robert Reynolds / Facebook

The trip was going so well that Rob even offered to drive Frank back to North Carolina in the future if need be. But after 52 hours of driving, Rob hoped that wouldn’t be the case…

Robert Reynolds / Facebook

On January 5, 2019, Rob and Frank arrived in Salt Lake City. No one was waiting outside the snowy home, but Frank sensed his family was nearby — the pooch ran right to the front door of the home!

Seventy-two hours after leaving North Carolina, Rob rang the doorbell in anticipation, unsure what state the family would be in on the other side. As the front door swung open, Rob knew the drive was totally worth it.

Facebook

Frank and the Millers went crazy at the sight of each other! For the first time in what seemed like forever, Perryn’s face lit up with excitement. The boy explained, “I felt really excited to see Frank. I just really like Frank, and he’s a good dog.”

Facebook

Forever indebted to this kind stranger, Jacob explained “It’s been a whirlwind. It’s been hard. But it’s been overwhelmingly awesome at the same time.”

Go Fund Me

After everything the family had been through, it was a blessing to have Frank back in their arms. The only thing left for the Millers to do was keep on fighting. 

CBS News

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